The Bondorella Breakdown

OCTOBER 25, 2010 – Lori here.

Okay. So wanna know the truth?

The breakdown during the Mojave Mile en route to the Winfield Watson show wasn’t caused by a fuel pump issue, although a lot of crud had built up from some sealer used on the gas tank sending unit. Quite simply, Bondorella… wait for it… RAN OUT OF GAS.

Yep. That’s right. The Gasoline Girl ran out of gas. How you ask?

A few weeks ago, we put in a new fuel tank, then had to take it out again to do the back panel patch, then it went back in again and somewhere in the process the wires got crossed… so while the tank read FULL it was actually EMPTY. The morning of the Mojave trip, even though it read FULL, I topped off the tank, but because I don’t have an automatic shut off when filling my tank, I had to peek down into the dark hole and look for signs of gas near the top. I thought I saw gas near the top after a few gallons, and shut her down.

Clearly, I hadn’t seen gas. 

So yeah… I had my truck towed on a flatbed to Mojave over an empty fuel tank, wasted a bunch of extremely generous people’s time troubleshooting a problem that didn’t exist, and in that process, actually created a problem. Repeatedly taking the jar on and off wore out the gasket and it wouldn’t seal, so we had a hideous leak. For part of Saturday and Sunday, multiple people messed with it, still with no luck. She was pouring gasoline. Finally we decided to try and find a new gasket, maybe a rubber one instead of cork. No luck on that, but Sean at Napa in Mojave cut a new cork one for us, and after some trial and error and a whole lot of advice, we trimmed the new gasket and finally got it to seal.

Am I embarrassed? Uh… yeah. But it’s all part of getting to know my truck and working out the bugs. She’s still in her shakedown phase. I’ve put only a couple a hundred miles on her. And really… I can’t beat myself up too badly. Had the gas tank been wired right, the gauge would have been accurate and I would have known. Now the gauge is working, she ran FANTASTIC on the way home, and The Gasoline Girls had an amazing weekend in Mojave.

Speaking of the weekend, stay tuned for the rundown of the entire show! Great people, great cars, great environment.

Until then…

Later gators and gator-ettes!


P.S. Thanks for not laughing too loudly. HEY! I said NOT LAUGHING!! …. Nah, it’s okay. I’m laughing too… now.


12 thoughts on “The Bondorella Breakdown

  1. Nothing like a little Gasoline to wash down our pride. Lesson learned: Start with the simplest explanation first! Fuel system check… #1- Gasoline.

  2. Bummer about the gas tank wiring! My dad called me and told me he saw Grease Girl in her stude on the side of the road next to an old Pickup. Can’t wait for more pics and stuff from the event.

    1. Amazing, isn’t it? Every says the same thing: Why didn’t I think of that?? Bart Barber from Gene Winfield’s place is the one who had the sense to knock on the tank. Smart feller, that Bart! He also got the gasket to fit and stopped the leak. I owe Bart big time. Thanks for commenting, Bill!

  3. Been there, done that. On my way to a big V-dub show in Effingham, Illinois couple years back, I was topping up my Beetle ragtop tank and calculating miles to keep from running out, no gauge. In a gas station in Indiana, I was bs-ing with a guy who was hauling a fine John-Deere drag tractor and didn’t hear the pump click off early. Couple hours later, in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois, no gas. Nice summer nght, sacked out in a field.
    Trucker stopped just before dawn, went way the hell out his way to ride me to a gas station. Made it to the show.

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